Tales of Bravery

So the CFC is now the Imperium. This is an interesting development. Far more interesting in my mind than all the drama that has beset my alliance as of late, though not entirely unrelated. While many of you Eve cynics have always thumbed your nose at roleplay and think the new direction of the Mittani’s coalition is just gay, let me put some stuff into perspective.

The last year or two of the blue doughnut have definitely made some strong statements about Eve. Every new player deigning to take their Iteron into lowsec and gotten mercilessly destroyed before they knew what happened has been familiarized with the general risk aversion present in Eve. Eve players do genuinely love gudfights, but they tend to only undock when they know they are going to win. The blue doughnut taught us what this phenomenon looks like on a very grand scale. All the parties involved basically got to the level of the apex predator, at which point they decided to no longer fight anyone who could fight back. The pre-fozziesov, pre-Phoebe blue doughnut world was the last chance for the greatest forces Eve has or will ever see to go toe to toe. Asakai and B-R were both accidents that were not an organized or intended part of a legitimate campaign. Mittens offered us one last chance at this with the invasion of Delve, but said invasion ultimately resulted in NC. taking the path of their predecessors Pandemic Legion. PL learned with Phoebe that the absolute end game of the zero-risk-only-fight-when-you-can’t-lose philosophy is to not only have the largest supercapital force (apex force) in the game, but to also not have any assets that can be attacked. Having convinced xXDeathXx to pay them money to let them live in the East, PL can keep its coffers full without ever really doing anything except farming content off of parties they outclass militarily. With NC. now following in their footsteps rather than risk losing, Mittens gets to end the pre-fozziesov era with the last successful campaign of one apex predator against another.

Not only has the CFC ended Eve 1.0 on a victorious note, they have postured themselves properly for Eve 2.0. Part of the problem PL has, according to Manfred Sideous, is that there’s nothing really challenging to do for them anymore. They just do stuff just to do it out of rote. (This is from his Cap Stable CSM podcast). What PL really wanted, if you remember the movie Spinal Tap, is an amplifier that goes to 11. Fozziesov, however, just makes 10 louder. Well the new Imperium has to have heights to set their eyes upon as well. They’ve chosen immersion. Victory for the CFC now is to have CCP design rats intent on killing the forces of Maximilian VI. They’ve always excelled at winning via the metanarrative. Now they want to join CCP’s narrative. This is something that new players, who are the new meta, will respond to. Alts online is going to be taking a hit this summer, and the Imperium aims to be the new player force of the future.

So with all this lauding of the Imperium, am I no longer grr Goon? Well, I used to hate them as Something Awful players with the mission of ruining Eve players’ game via their ganking and their jump freighter scams and their recruitment deposit scams and all that. Now KarmaFleet has happened, and I don’t really know what the status of the recruitment scams is at this point. I do know they’ve chosen a lore-based raison d’etre, however. So where do I stand with roleplay? Well, Jan Irvam is a Khanid member of the Unionist party, a supporter of the Amarr Empire, and empress Jamyl has given the Khanid Kingdom unprecedented power within the Empire. Coman Saraki, although a mystic who thinks above typical lines of patriotism, was a flagship commander in the Caldari-Gallente war, and empress Jamyl greatly invigorated the Caldari economy. Paynus relishes his status as one of the few Ni-Kunni holders in the Empire. The Ni-Kunni are a former slave race much maligned for their preference for trade to glorious battle. Empress Jamyl recognizes the legitimacy of the fragile and few Ni-Kunni holders, and Maximilian VI has said nothing of the Ni-Kunni. Stepping back from the lore for a second, I as a player have been since my youth a fan of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern mythos about an alcoholic test pilot battling internal demons in order to save the galaxy. (= all hail Lychton Kondur!) Jan himself is a Khanid who failed at a life of mediocrity only to embark upon a mostly vain attempt to find nobility in his life as a capsuleer. Is he really the type to ally himself with some Emperor Palpatine threatening his kingdom and empire? So from the roleplay angle:

GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRR GGOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

With all that being said, and regardless of the comments about PL and NC., the praise of the new Imperium is intended not as some mindless fawning, but as an adjuration to the skeptical and cynical Eve community not to discount the power of narrative. My concern is that the veteran pilots running things in Eve don’t respect the power of the narrative as they should in this new era that is coming where players are more important than alts. Some of these players are actually wanting to play a space game. They want real friends they really love and real enemies that they really hate. They don’t want to find out that all of their fights against their arch enemies were arranged by their alliance executor and the enemy executor over Skype. They actually want to identify with their toons and their ships and their corps and alliances. And they aren’t bored with everything yet. As my own alliance moves into the future, it is my hope that our leadership leads us in a way that is consistent with our standing narrative as a force for fun and content, who always undocks, etc., but also that we expand and form our narrative in a way that is superior to that of our competition. The Imperium is something that should be noted and bested, not laughed at.

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